Four years ago, I started going to church. I switched my membership over to a church that I felt was spiritually healthy for me and my family. It didn’t take long before I was teaching Sunday School and helping with the youth group and volunteering in whatever way I was able. Eventually I was designing and maintaining the website. And a year ago, was blessed with the opportunity to preach a couple times.
Outside the church, I found a wonderful set of women who took me in and we started a Bible study. I had a blog of my own sermons on various topics. I started doing morning and nighttime prayer, and prayed throughout the day.
God became my life… my passion.
Of course, I’m no saint. I never have been and never will be. At least, not fully. A big part of me is still a sinner. I am human.
I drink too much. I smoke. I swear. I wear clothes that aren’t exactly modest. I speak my mind a little too bluntly at times. I have a short temper. I’ve hurt my husband and children and friends and family more times than I can ever count.
I’ve recently found out that there are some who don’t feel I should be teaching or preaching because of my faults. Because I’m broken. Because I’m a sinful human being. And to be completely honest, I can’t argue with them. I’m not good enough to be teaching or preaching. I am broken. I am incredibly sinful. What gives me the right to stand up in front of people and tell people about God and his love? What gives me the right to stand amongst a bunch of children and tell them about God and his love?
I can’t explain it. I really can’t ask others to explain or accept it. But there is a saying that says “God doesn’t call the qualified… He qualifies the called.” Or, another version: “God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.” I didn’t ask to be a teacher in the church. I didn’t ask to be able to write about God. And I definitely didn’t ask to stand up in church and preach about God. I was led there. I was called to do that.
Believe me, I have questioned God a lot more than anyone else ever could. I have flat out told Him that I have no business teaching or preaching. But well, God kind of has his own agenda. For some inexplicable reason, I am part of that agenda.
When I heard that people were complaining about me teaching and preaching, I decided to quit. I told the pastor I would not teach anymore. I told him I was done with the church. I was incredibly hurt and angry. I felt as if God had abandoned me. To be completely honest, I am still hurt and angry and am definitely questioning God.
But several times yesterday, my husband asked me if I was sure I wanted to quit teaching. If I was sure I wanted to be done. This is a man who does not go to church very often, and sometimes gets a little jealous of how much of my time gets tied up in church things. And yet there he was questioning my decision. As I lay awake last night, and again this morning, praying about and contemplating the whole situation, I realized that he was right to question me – he recognized the importance of what I was called to do, and recognized that it wasn’t something I could just let go of. I realized that God was there with me and he would not let me give up. He has a purpose for me.
So to everyone who says that I have no right to be teaching or preaching… to everyone who feels that I am just too much of a sinner to tell about God and his love…. You’ll have to take your complaints up with God. He’s the one who called on me. He’s the one who is using me. I am just his servant.
And, to those who do feel the need to talk bad about me… I forgive you, and God forgives you. May God bless each of you as he has blessed me.